Friday, September 19, 2014

unconventional & unexpected...



True confessions, this book was pre-ordered as soon as I heard about its publication and I was predisposed to love it. Happily, it does not disappoint and my nose has been buried between the covers since it arrived last week. Roderick Kiracofe's previous and wonderful work explored the evolution of American quilts up to 1950. "Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar" explores quilts made after this time and more specifically utility quilts. These are my favourite kind of quilts: the ones I obsess over on Pinterest and Ebay. To see them treated in an academic way so beautifully as modern works of art makes my heart sing. 

The book is gorgeous with lots of images and essays from renowned textile personages. Am still at the child-like stage of looking at the pictures and trying to pick my favorite one which changes daily. These quilts are the most colorful, joyful and soulful expressions of their creators' spirit. Made of polyesters, wools and corduroys as well as cottons they are the embodiment of recycled materials. They were made for warmth and they were made to be used. Stylistically, these patchworks intersect traditional quilts and purely improvisational ones. They are abstract in pattern and yet have form.

I love this book and can't recommend it enough. My only regret is that I wish Kiracofe had written it decades ago so that these quilts were valued as I suspect the most beautiful of their kind have been worn to bits, abused and discarded... 


 Camera cord where art thou? These quilts deserve more than my phone.


Prairie points...


And yo-yos...


Now I know all my favorite bloggers are writing about this book. Have studiously not looked at their posts and am now off to read what more intelligent insights they have about it :)  

10 comments:

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    1. Get it! You won't be disappointed. This book is right up your alley:)

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  2. I know how you feel! I echo every word! I am curious to see what happens in the quilting world as far as new quilts inspired by this book. A very happy book!

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    1. Someone should organize a QAL or flickr group where we choose and interpret a certain quilt each month or so for a mini or quarterly for a larger size. In her video chat with the author, VFW wants to do a similar thing and remake them all the way Julie cooks all the recipes from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in the film "Julie & Julia"...

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  3. Yea, it's a wonderful book. He's so generous to show us his collection to inspire our own work. A must-have for the library!

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    1. I can't wait to see all the versions of these quilts that will inevitably spring from all this inspiration. I'm looking at you Nifty:)

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  4. oooh, I can't wait to have this book -

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  5. Ordering this book today. Can't wait to have very cerebral and pretentious discussions about it with you. Hee hee. XOXO

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    1. Well you can handle the cerebral end of things since you don't do pretentious:)

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